5 Ways Human Resources Benefit Your Growing Business
Businesses face many challenges during each growth phrase. Perhaps you’re a small mom and pop shop looking to open a second location, or maybe you have several locations and have decided to open up in a neighboring state. Regardless of the stage you are in, an effective Human Resource (HR) Department supports a growing business in numerous ways. They tackle policies and employee communication, actively monitor employees and trends, watch for legal issues, develop your workforce, and create a corporate culture. Without a dedicated HR team, you might find yourself swimming in unknown waters!
Develop and Communicate Policies
An HR Department’s first order of business will be to evaluate and create new policies and procedures. Having a separate department handle this tasks ensures impartial policies are enforced consistently across your company. The team will look for potential problems and work with management to develop policies that fit with the business model and strategy. Once policies are approved, the HR team will communicate them to employees. Some companies elect to have their HR department work with IT to develop and maintain a company Intranet where employees can easily access up to date policies and procedures. Other companies decide to print hard copies of an employee handbook and have employees acknowledge receipt. Your HR department will look at several factors to determine how to communicate changes. One set of rules followed across the entire business shows both fairness and consistency and clears up confusion between departments. As your business expands, keeping up with the necessary policy changes becomes a daunting task.
Monitoring Employees and Efficiency
As a small business, you probably monitor your employees easily. However, growing business necessitates more oversight. One of the jobs of Human Resources is to develop a plan to actively monitor employees across various locations and departments. They begin by structuring chains of command and holding employees and teams accountable to a set standard. They also watch trends such as employee turnover. A high turnover rate costs the company money in training and recruitment. The HR Department will access why employees are leaving and create a solution to encourage them to stay. New departments and locations find HR a valuable asset. They assist from the very beginning by finding office space, employees, and keeping the new location in legal and company compliance. One of their biggest roles is conflict management, especially between an employee and their manager. HR can be an unbiased mediator when problems arise. Without an HR team, employees have nowhere to express concerns.
New laws are being passed all the time. In order to stay on top of the laws that pertain to your business, you need a dedicated staff. The team of HR professionals will actively monitor all changes to the laws and how they affect your business. Then they will put policies and procedures in place to stay in compliance. Laws governing businesses cover wages, vacation, overtime, insurance, leave, safety, and more. These laws apply to business differently depending on their size. Without knowledge of the laws relevant to your business size, you may find yourself unintentionally breaking them, or spending money to follow ones that don’t apply to you. Also, each state has separate state level laws that affect businesses operating in their state. Ignorance of these laws can get you into trouble. The burden of proof falls on the company to prove they follow the regulations. HR will maintain this documentation for you for the required number of years.
Hiring, Training and Building
When you think of Human Resources, you probably first think of hiring employees, and this function is a very important one. This phase beings with creating job descriptions for each position and recruiting individuals who are a good fit for the company. However, the work doesn’t stop there. Besides finding the right person for each job, they also develop employees through training. HR will determine which employees would benefit most from job specific training, and provide it for them. They may set up mentoring with more experienced workers and develop teams that function well together. HR is the eyes and ears of the company. They look for talent and develop it to further the growing business. In addition, they help evolve careers through job enrichment. Job enrichment grows the position by creating more challenges and reducing repetitive work. They also use job rotation to teach new skills by allowing employees to work in different departments or positions for a specific time frame.
Motivating Employees and Creating a Corporate Culture
According to a 2011 Gallup survey, 71% of American workers are not engaged in their work. Disengaged employees are less productive, and more likely to leave the position they currently hold. An HR Department will combat disengagement by motivating employees. Contrary to popular belief, money does not highly motivate employees. An encouraging word, especially praise in front of co-workers, stimulates better performance and doesn’t cost a thing! HR can help by creating contests for productivity, and training managers to acknowledge the work their employees complete. They also help set the corporate culture. Your business should be one for which employees want to work. HR will work tirelessly to create a safe, clean, culture that is most conductive to work. This environment will draw in the best applicants and greatly reduce turnover. They can assess the current situation by listening to employees. A perfect time to do this is during annual performance reviews.
In conclusion, human resources are vital to every organization, but especially to an expanding business. They will assist you in the coming transitions and keep your employees happy. HR will become the go to department for solving conflicts, and ensuring legal compliance. The team will also make sure policies are in place to create fairness and will handle communication to each employee. They act as a liaison between management and employees to create a well functioning, body of engaged, satisfied employees. In doing so, they take a great burden off of your shoulders.